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Misesians in Brazil!

April 16, 2010

As Lew Rockwell mentions in his article today, the wonderful new Instituto Mises Brasil sponsored the first-ever conference on Austrian economics this week. Hundreds were there, with most of them under 25. It was a thrill and an honor to speak and take part.

I also had a chance to speak at the huge Forum da Liberdade, for which an incredible 5500 attendees registered. This year’s Forum, as Lew mentions in his article, centered around Mises’ book Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow, known in Portuguese as Six Lessons. I covered inflation, on a panel with Stephen Kanitz and Ricardo Lopez Murphy. (Kanitz misstated the meaning of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” and then criticized supporters of the free market in the process of attacking his own misstatement of Smith; I gently corrected him during the question period.) The video will be available in the near future.

The conference hall at the Forum was truly a sight to see: quotations from Mises on walls, on banners, hanging from the ceiling — everywhere.

Helio Beltrao, the founder of Mises Brazil, was given an award for his work for liberty. His acceptance speech, which I heard via simultaneous translation, was extraordinary. And I was delighted to hear him mention Lew Rockwell’s indispensable role in the ongoing Austrian revival.

We met so many bright and well-read Austrians while there. Very, very impressive. The days when every Austrian economist in the world personally knew every other one are long over, to say the least. Some kind of watershed has been reached for sure.

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